DECISION INTELLIGENCE 101

Decision Intelligence Use Cases in the Food and Beverage Industry
Graphic depicting decision intelligence use case in the food and beverage industry Graphic depicting decision intelligence use case in the food and beverage industry

Morning Consult

January 10, 2023 at 5:00 am ET

The food and beverage industry has always been particularly vulnerable to changing customer preferences, behaviors and purchase power. Its shoppers typically buy often but spend less overall than customers in higher-priced industries such as automotive, electronics or home improvement. This means food and beverage companies depend heavily on consumers’ ability to make regular shopping trips and find what they need at prices that fit their budgets. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed this vulnerability like never before. 

No data could have predicted the pandemic, but the growing discipline of Decision Intelligence for food and beverage companies could have helped them better prepare for the secondary effects, including disruptions in supply chains and economic pressures. 

Below, learn about five ways that Decision Intelligence can help industry leaders make data-driven decisions under pressure — and even gain a competitive edge.  

    1. Navigate the impact of changing customer demands and behaviors in your category
    2. Refine strategic marketing decisions with foresight into future consumer behaviors
    3. Determine sales trends and forecasts in food and beverage
    4. Inform financial strategy and future business development
    5. Gain a competitive advantage in the food and beverage industry
    6. Schedule a conversation

How does Decision Intelligence compare to business intelligence? 

Decision Intelligence is an emerging discipline, and many teams may be accustomed to business intelligence tools. Check out “Decision Intelligence vs. Business Intelligence” to learn how these approaches are different and which is right for you.


Navigate the impact of changing customer demands and behaviors in your category 

People’s shopping, eating and drinking behaviors change relatively often across categories in this sector. One reason this happens is due to malleable consumer sentiment, which is particularly hard for retailers to track in real time, especially with traditional brand-tracking studies.

Decision Intelligence approaches are designed to anticipate and quantify these impacts so that business can prepare. For instance, applying an artificial intelligence-based tool to consumer sentiment data can suggest in advance how shopping behaviors will change in a given category. This could give businesses such as a grocery chain time to adjust inventory accordingly.

Morning Consult State of Food and Beverage download

Refine strategic marketing decisions with foresight into future consumer behaviors 

While splashy campaigns get the most attention, much of marketing is actually maintenance. The questions sound simple: Are the right people being targeted? On the right channels with the right message? At the right price and time? But answering them for niche audiences, the ones who can move the needle for your brand, is difficult. Doing so in an unpredictable economy can feel impossible. 

This is where Decision Intelligence can help marketers at food companies and beverage brands uplevel their decision-making. The techniques can uncover new insights about important audiences to your brand, such as the channels where you’ll find them next quarter, the value propositions that will matter to them in six months or the prices they’ll be able to afford when your next product launches. 

Of course, running these techniques requires high-quality data on niche consumer groups’ attitudes and behaviors — something that traditional data analytics in the food and beverage industry may be too slow and inefficient to achieve.

Predicting which emerging consumer, industry, market and cultural trends will impact your brand can feel like a guessing game. They often unfold too quickly for traditional methods of data analytics in the food and beverage industry to capture.

This is one reason why the Decision Intelligence discipline is developing fast. The techniques are built to both monitor and anticipate rapidly changing trends among specific audiences. And the resulting insights can help you determine the needs and expectations that consumers have for your category and brand ahead of time — so you can outperform your competition.

Morning Consult Most Trusted Brands 2022: Food & Beverage Report Download

Inform financial strategy and future business development

A key part of success in food and beverage is knowing where to invest next. For example, is the seltzer market oversaturated, or is there still room for a legacy player to launch a brand extension strategy

The specific use cases will depend on your brand, category and budget, but there are several ways that Decision Intelligence can inform and strengthen the financial strategy of food and beverage companies:

  • Finding new income opportunities
  • Addressing cost concerns
  • Optimizing purchasing 
  • Refining inventory management 
  • Reducing dead stock
  • Increasing profit margins

Gain a competitive advantage in the food and beverage industry

What the pandemic made clear is that companies that innovate will survive and flourish, even during a crisis. Creating this kind of culture starts with understanding the current food and beverage industry landscape and planning your strategy accordingly. 

Morning Consult’s Food and Beverage Industry Trends Report tracks evolving trends in food and beverage. Published semiannually, it pulls from monthly surveys of around 2,200 U.S. adults and quarterly surveys of more than 14,000 adults across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. 

Starting with actionable insights like these is a powerful first step toward finding a competitive edge in a crowded industry — and Morning Consult can help.

Morning Consult Decision Intelligence

Schedule a conversation

Morning Consult is reshaping the world of decision-making. Schedule a conversation with us today to learn more about how Decision Intelligence can strengthen your strategy and keep your food or beverage company one step ahead.